I have been keenly practicing yoga for most part of my life. Yoga was my saviour even during my tiresome first two trimester of pregnancy. I had a rather easy labour and a surprisingly pleasurable birth with no tear or trauma of any sort. I give a lot of credit to my regular practice of yoga that I not only found amazing flexibility bit also felt in tune with my body physically, mentally and spiritually.
But doing yoga after giving birth is altogether a different ball game. Co-sleeping, lovely as it is, does you back a bit as you have to sleep in a rather restricted and confined position. Also, breastfeeding can strain a lot of your shoulder, neck and back muscles in ways you never knew they could. So, although it becomes even more important to do regualar stretching and yoga post natal, it isn’t easy. Your body feels new! By new I mean, stiff – a body that hasn’t done much stretching. This is after almost 20 years of daily practice. Hey-ho, I have been on it from my second week of having given birth. The following are some of the asanas I practice and are good for most women whether you have given birth or not. Most of the poses are also pregnancy friendly. But I would suggest you speak to your GP or midwife before doing any strenuous workout.
Dhanurasana (The Bow Pose):
This is a beautiful pose, very stretchy and destressing. It helps improves posture (which suffers a bit postpartum, especially if breastfeeding). It stretches the entire body including your groin, thighs and ankles.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose):
This pose although seems easy, it isn’t. To hold this pose for 30 seconds can be hardwork if you have stiff back and muscles. Cobra pose helps strengthen your arms and shoulders. It releases tension on your lower back. It helps firm up the buttocks and invigorates the heart.
If you suffer from Sciatica, this pose is your friend. It releases tension from your lower back and buttocks. It opens your hip perfect for preparing your body for labour and provide good stretch to your groin and psoas muscles.
Wide Child’s Pose:
This stretch seems easy and has been but after giving birth, this pose felt extremely difficult, funnily. But at the same time, this stretch feels so good on my spine and hips. The groin was thanks me everytime I do this pose.
Eagle pose, is another good pose to strengthen your upper back, ankles, calves, shoulders, hips you name it. This pose requires a great deal of balance as well, which a lot of women find difficult to achieve after their sense of gravity shifts during pregnancy.
This pose really challenges and thus, helps achieve better balance. This pose is a heart opener and lengthens your spine.
I always do the above asanas after a good warm up routine that involves a lot of breathing exercises and some basic stretches like Downward Dog, Butterfly pose and Surya Namaskar. Infact, Surya Namaskar is in itself a good yoga routine which can be repeated a few times on a lazy day when you don’t feel like doing your routine.
I hope you find these asanas inspiring. Please do your own research and seek advice from your GP if you need to before trying any of the above poses. Also, bear in mind, these poses can be hard to achieve if you are a beginners so take it easy upon yourself.